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Creators of Innovative Food Products Start New Companies Around Their Concoctions

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By adding a little flavor to an old product, an entrepreneur can attract customers to the offerings of a new business. This technique is widely utilized by the creators of innovative restaurant cuisine. Recently, manufacturers of new foods and beverages are using flavorful choices for appealing to consumers.

A search of pioneering food operations is certain to stumble upon Compartes Chocolatier. Jonathan Grahm launched the Los Angeles company’s concept in 2008. He acquired his parent’s interest in a chocolate business and decided to spice things up by infusing the products with ginger, shichimi, lemongrass, and more.

Customers can’t resist Grahm’s pairings of Asian and Latin American spices with chocolate. Among the chocolatier selections are blends of habanero and pineapple as well as shichimi with apricot. In four years of operation, Grahm has made a hit in the marketplace. Celebrity customers include Heidi Klum and Jennifer Garner.

The challenge for Grahm’s growing operation is maintaining quality while keeping up with demand. That isn’t an easy task for handmade chocolate with intricate colorful designs. Grahm had to invest in expanded factory space. He expects annual sales to double this year as a result of new product offerings and arrangements with more retainers nationwide.

Meanwhile, in New York, Daniel Sullivan started TumericAlive in 2009. The company sells Sullivan’s creations of herbal drinks. Included among the ingredients are turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and more.

After Sullivan got the idea for his new business while working on a turmeric farm in Maui, he started selling his drinks locally in health food stores and yoga studios. Eventually, sales expanded into Whole Foods stores.

TumericAlive is selling 14,500 bottles per week in 2012 compared to only 4,000 a week one year earlier. Sullivan’s biggest challenge has been managing cash flow because of the large volume of supplies he must acquire for production. By negotiating prices and payment terms, he has learned to improve his business model.

Kind Health Snacks has been around since 2003, selling its brand of snack bars containing nuts, fruit, and spices. But, the company is proving that product innovation is the key to success for an existing entity as much as a new business. The company is expanding with a line of low-sugar bars. This required a lot of experimentation, but the result is expected to capture new customers just like a startup business.